Did you know that Hillsborough County has some of the highest rates of child abuse and neglect in Florida? Champions for Children is a non-profit organization established in 1977 focused on changing families by helping to strengthen all families across the risk spectrum. Nearly 40,000 families benefit from their programs each year and most are provided for free, or at a low cost. This non-profit is close to my heart because, in many ways, it has made me a better parent. They have too many programs for me to name without going way over my word limit, so make sure you check out their website for a comprehensive list.
Certified specialists in fields from prenatal care to early childhood development are provided through this program for new and expectant parents.
- Baby Cafe: Several locations offer free drop-in breastfeeding assistance and education.
- Bootcamp for New Moms and Dads: Father to father boot camps are a unique opportunity for new Dads to prepare for their infants. There’s also Mom and Dad combo classes and new mother classes.
We are a Baby Bungalow family! My son goes to playgroup there weekly, and we have both learned so much. Baby Bungalow focuses on children from birth until the age of 5 and has programs in 11 locations. There are lots of different types of playgroups and classes to choose from, so any family in any neighborhood can potentially benefit.
I know several parents who participate and love this entirely free program because it consists of home visits from a Certified Parent Educator. Hillsborough County families can coordinate either weekly, bi-weekly or monthly visits around their own schedule. The individual child from prenatal through the age of five benefits from activities specifically focused on brain development.
Layla’s House is a community-based program located in Sulpher Springs and serving the surrounding communities. Classes like Baby University, Nurturing Dads, toddler STEAM, and more are offered so that all children can have a healthy foundation.
How to Get Involved
Champions for Children understands that strong families are the backbone of our community. This vital program is always in need of diapers for their Diaper Bank, which provides free diapers to families in need. Board books are also needed for their new program Talk, Read, Sing.
- Donate books or diapers directly to the Champions for Children office, 3108 W Azeele Street, Tampa FL 33609
- Business sponsored diaper or book drives.
- Volunteering is needed for fundraiser drives. Contact Angela Green at [email protected] for more information.
- Grown-up Birthday Party and Fundraiser: There will be a grown-ups only party and fundraiser on March 7th at 5:30pm. While it is a fundraiser, it is free to attend. Just make sure you RSVP on their Facebook page.
Has Champions for Children made an impact in your life? Let us know about your experience!